Former Rebel Jenkins transfers to Southeastern

Published 11:45 pm Friday, May 16, 2014


HAMMOND — Former Riverside basketball standout Cedric Jenkins, set to graduate from Southern Miss, will transfer to Southeastern Louisiana University for his final season of basketball eligibility.

Jenkins, who sat out his senior season with a knee injury, will be eligible to compete immediately for Southeastern head coach Jay Ladner and the Lions.

Jenkins played for Riverside and, prior to its closure, Reserve Christian. Jenkins helped guide RA to its first-ever state championship during his senior year. He was a key player on three RCS championship teams. In 2009, Jenkins was named Class C Most Valuable Player and in 2007, he was named the MVP of the Class C state championship game.

He said the transfer provided an opportunity for him to play in front of friends and family. A transfer was necessary for Jenkins to play after he was medically disqualified from competing at Southern Miss as a senior.

“I’m very, very excited,” Jenkins said. “There weren’t many from here who really got to see me play, even just being one state over. It’s great to be back home. It’s a perfect situation, to be able to play in front of so many I know.”

Ladner, a former Southern Miss player, has long been a fan of the 6’2” shooting guard.

“Cedric played three years at Southern Miss and I had a chance to watch him while living in Hattiesburg the past couple years,” said Ladner.

“He’s a sharp shooter, a hard-playing guard, and will be one of the better players in our conference.”

A key reserve for a Golden Eagle squad that finished the 2012-13 season with a 27-10 record and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT, Jenkins averaged 13.6 minutes per game while seeing action in 35 contests. Shooting 39.9 percent from the floor (59-148) and 32.2 percent from three-point range (29-of-90), he averaged 4.7 points and 1.4 rebounds per contest.

Jenkins set a career high in points in back-to-back games against William Carey (17-2-1) and Dillard (22-1-1). He scored in double figures at SMU (10-1-0) and against UAB (13-1-0) in consecutive Conference USA games.

As a sophomore, he averaged 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds. Jenkins turned in a season-best performance at New Mexico State, scoring nine points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists in 20 minutes of action. He earned his first career start at Arizona State.

Jenkins saw action in four games as a freshman, averaging 1.3 points and rebounds. He played the first game of his collegiate career against McNeese State, recording two rebounds and a steal in 10 minutes.

“The fact that he’s already played at a very high level, starting on and off, and having a been a very good player in a good league, he will give us a wealth of experience that we don’t have on the squad right now,” Ladner said.

Rated a two-star prospect by while playing for coach Timmy Byrd at Riverside, he averaged 19.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals while helping the Rebels to a 38-6 record and the Louisiana Class 2A State Championship as a senior. Jenkins earned All-State honors by the Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association following the season.

“He played at Riverside Academy, which is not only one of the outstanding programs in Louisiana, but in the country,” Ladner said.

“Coach Byrd has built a powerhouse. A priority for us is to start tapping into these local players and making Southeastern a destination for them to want to come play.”

Jenkins said he looks to step forward as a leader at Southeastern.

“I want to help change the culture there, as far as a place where basketball can be a big thing,” he said. “It’s a great school with a lot of athletic support, but basketball hasn’t been looked at in that way there. I want to be part of that changing.”

Jenkins joins Ole Miss transfer Derrick Millinghaus as a member of Ladner’s first recruiting class.

He plans to earn a post-graduate degree at Southeastern, studying sports medicine.

Jenkins said he’s still working on getting fully back to 100-percent after his knee injury — a meniscus tear prior to the beginning of the season — but that he’s ready to get to work on the floor.

“I really can’t wait,” he said.